At the press conference to inform activities related to APEC High-Level Week 2017 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Strengthening regional integration, promoting sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth, and enhancing the competitiveness edge of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are among the top priorities in 2017 of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

ABAC Chairman Hoang Van Dung unveiled this information at a press conference held in Hanoi on June 21 by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to inform activities towards the APEC High-Level Week 2017.

Dung said the ABAC’s work plan in 2017 will also focus on encouraging innovations in the digital era, ensuring food security and promoting sustainable and smart agriculture adaptive to climate change.

Regarding the 2nd ABAC meeting in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, he said that APEC members agreed to focus recommendations on the benefits of trade liberalisation and development as well as reduction of non-tariff barriers to goods.

The council emphasised the importance of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and values of free trade agreements like the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), Dung said.

ABAC also noted that a stronger global supply chain will create opportunities to realise huge potential of the digital economy and lenient policies will MSMEs to get easier access to international markets and global value chains and strengthen the participation of women in the economy.

The VCCI will continue hosting ABAC’s 3rd meeting in Canada and 4th meeting in Da Nang city of Vietnam to discuss and give out business recommendations. ABAC’s report will be submitted to APEC leaders at APEC High-level Week held in Da Nang in November.

ABAC is the private sector arm of the APEC. APEC economic leaders decided to establish ABAC in November 1995 to advise them and other APEC officials on issues of interest to business. ABAC also responds to requests from various APEC sub-groups for information about the business perspective of specific areas of cooperation.

This private sector body presents recommendations to APEC leaders in an annual dialogue and advises APEC officials on business sector priorities and concerns.

ABAC comprises up to three senior business people from each APEC economy and the appointments are made by the leader of the member economy concerned. The Chair of ABAC comes from the economy that is hosting APEC and therefore changes annually. ABAC represents a diverse range of sectors and includes small and large enterprises.-VNA